Tips for Eco-Friendly Businesses on a Budget
The ENERGY STAR website encourages small businesses to get started by trying out simple changes that can yield high-return results. The following;sure energy savers
- Lighting - replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), wherever appropriate. CFLs cost about 75% less to operate, and last about 10 times longer.
- Water Conservation - fix leaks. Small leaks add up to many gallons of water and dollars wasted each month.
- Heating and Air Conditioning - regularly change (or clean if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating season. New filters usually only cost a few dollars, while dirty filters cost more to use, overwork the equipment, and result in poor indoor air quality.
- Food Service Equipment - for existing refrigerators, clean refrigerator coils twice a year and replace door gaskets if a dollar bill easily slips out when closed between the door's seals.
- Office Equipment- consider upgrading older computer stations. Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitors use less than 1/3 of the energy of conventional Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors.
The ENERGY STAR website also provides guides for certain small business types, iincluding auto dealers, restaurants, retailers, and home-based businesses. The industry guides provide for analyzing and upgrading facilities, technical support through their Email a Technical Question service and offer success stories about other small businesses who have recently implemented changes.
More Ideas for the Green-Minded Business
- If you are itching to install solar panels, but do't have a tens of thousands of dollars to invest in the upgrade, consider leasing solar panels instead. If leasing is still cost-prohibitive, install a timed lighting system to save money and electricity.
- If you cannot afford new energy-efficient windows, take some time to weather-strip and caulk your current windows and doors to help minimize AC and heat loss.
- Consider bulk buying. Join forces with other small businesses in your community to buy offices supplies like recycled paper, lightbulbs, and cleaning products in bulk. Combined purchasing can cut down on extra packaging waste, gas, and costs.
- Consider going paperless. Traditionally, businesses have spent countless dollars, time, and space maintaining paper business records. Learn the benefits of electronic recordkeeping at Business.gov.
Small Business Owners Share Their Energy-Saving Tips
In Business.go's monthly Idea Exchange, we pose questions to the Community about various small business topics and features or services provided by Business.gov. In February, we asked members to'Share Your Energy Saving Tips' Her's what our members had to say about how they greened their small business.
For more tips and suggestions, read these related resources:
- Greening Your Home-Based Business' Tips for saving money, saving the environment, and building your brand
- Financing the 'Greening' of Your Small Businesses - the government has put many programs in place to help small businesses be just as competitive in the race to become green.
- Green Tax Incentives - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Economic Stimulus) includes new and extended energy efficiency incentives for consumers and small businesses.
- Business.gov's Green Business Guide - These resources provide detailed information on how to supply and manage your business in environmentally-friendly ways.